A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Biographies

Abigail Smith Adams

22 November 1744 - 28 October 1818
Abigail Adams provided political and business advice to her husband, John, while managing family affairs during John's long absnences.
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John Adams

19 October 1735 - 4 July 1826
John Adams served in the Continental Congress, was an ambassador to France and the Court of St. James, the first Vice President of the United States, and the nation's second President.
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Samuel Adams

16 September 1722 - 3 October 1803
Samuel Adams was active in Boston and Massachusetts politics and served in the First Continental Congress.
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Francis Bernard

1712 - 1779
Francis Bernard served as governor of Massachusetts, 1760-1769.
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Thomas Cushing

24 March 1725 - 28 February 1788
Thomas Cushing served in the Massachusetts General Court and represented Massachusetts at the First and Second Continental Congresses.
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William Dawes

6 April 1745 - 25 February 1799
Along with Paul Revere, Dawes was chosen by Joseph Warren to warn the countryside that the British troops were marching to Lexington and Concord on the evening of 18 April 1775.
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 John Dickinson

8 November 1732 - 14 February 1808
John Dickinson served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress and helped draft the Articles of Confederation.
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Benjamin Franklin

17 January 1706 - 17 April 1790
Benjamin Franklin served in the Second Continental Congress and was part of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He lived in France for many years as a diplomat.
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Thomas Gage

1719 or 1720 - 2 April 1787
Thomas Gage served as the commander in chief of the British Forces in North America from 1763-1774.
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Joseph Galloway

c. 1731 - 29 August 1803
While serving on the First Continental Congress, James Galloway argued that a written constitution for the empire would restore harmony between Britain and the colonies.
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George III, King of England

4 June 1738 - 29 January 1820
George III served as King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 to 29 January 1820.
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George Grenville

14 October 1712 - 13 November 1770
George Grenville served as Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1763-1765.
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Alexander Hamilton

11 January 1757 - 12 July 1804
Alexander Hamilton served as George Washington's aide-de-camp and became the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury.
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John Hancock

12 January 1737 - 8 October 1793
John Hancock was a wealthy Boston merchant who served as president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and president of the Second Continental Congress.
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Patrick Henry

29 May 1736 - 6 June 1799
Patrick Henry served as a delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses and was the first governor of the independent commonwealth of Virginia.
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Wills Hill (Lord Hillsborough)

30 May 1718 - 7 October 1793
Wills Hill (Lord Hillsborough) served as Secretary of State for the colonies, 1768-1772.
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William Howe

10 August 1729 - 12 July 1814
William Howe served as Commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
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Thomas Hutchinson

9 September 1711 - 3 June 1780
Thomas Hutchinson served as royal governor of Massachusetts, 1771-1774.
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Archibald Kennedy

c. 1723 - 1794
Archibald Kennedy was the Royal Navy Commander of the British blockade of New York Harbor in November 1765.
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Henry Knox

25 July 1750 - 25 October 1806
Henry Knox led an expedition to Fort Ticonderoga in the winter of 1775-1776 to obtain cannon for the American forces in Boston.
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Richard Henry Lee

20 January 1732 - 19 June 1794
Richard Henry Lee was an influential member of the Virginia House of Burgesses during the pre-Revolutionary War period and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
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William Legge, Lord Dartmouth

20 June 1731 - 15 July 1801
William Legge, Lord Dartmouth served in the House of Lords as President of the Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations and was also a Secretary of State for the colonies.
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Thomas Mifflin

10 January 1744 - 20 January 1800
Thomas Mifflin was a prosperous Philadelphia merchant who becamean outspoken proponent of non-importation, often penning scathing diatribes against British trade policy under the pseudonym, Scaevola.
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James Murray

9 August 1713 - 1782
James Murray served as magistrate in the 1770 trial of Captain Thomas Preston.
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Andrew Oliver

28 March 1706 - 3 March 1774
Andrew Oliver was a Boston merchant who was named stamp distributor for the town after the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765.
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Robert Treat Paine

11 March 1731 - 11 June 1814
Robert Treat Paine served as a delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses and was Attorney General of Massachusetts, 1777-1790.
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Thomas Paine

29 January 1737 - 8 June 1809
Thomas Paine was the author of Common Sense, an enormously influential pamphlet published in 1776 that advocated for American independence from Britain.
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Henry Pelham

14 February 1749 - 1806
Henry Pelham  was an artist known for his miniatures, as well as his engraving of the Boston Massacre, which was copied by Paul Revere.
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Peyton Randolph

c. 1721 - 22 October 1775
Peyton Randolph was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and served as President of the First and Second Continental Congresses.
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Paul Revere

December 1734 - 10 May 1818
Paul Revere was a metalsmith, engraver, and ardent patriot.
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Caesar Rodney

7 October 1728 - 26 June 1784
Caesar Rodney represented Delaware in both the First and Second Continental Congresses.
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John Rowe

16 November 1715 - 21 February 1787
John Rowe was a successful Boston merchant.
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Samuel Seabury

30 November 1729 - 25 February 1796
Samuel  Seabury served as chaplain to General William Howe’s army in 1776 at Long Island.
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John Stuart (3rd Earl of Bute)

25 May 1713 - 10 March 1792
John Stuart (3rd Earl of Bute) served as Prime Minister for George III in 1762 and 1763.
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Artemas Ward

26 November 1727 - 28 October 1800
Artemas Ward was Commander-in-Chief of the Massachusetts colonial militia.
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Mercy Otis Warren

25 September 1728 - 19 October 1814
Mercy Otis Warren was the author of many poems, plays, political satires, and historical works.
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George Washington

22 February 1732 - 14 December 1799
George Washington served as Commander-in-Chief of Continental forces during the American Revolution and was elected the first President of the United States.
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Phillis Wheatley

1753 - 5 December 1784
Phillis Wheatley was an African American poet living in Boston during the American Revolution.
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Hannah Fayerweather Winthrop

1726? - 1790
Hannah Winthrop and her family were forced to flee their Cambridge home on 19 April 1775.
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